This month we’re bringing you a European travel special and exploring three exciting and lesser-pedalled destinations, so you can re-examine the contents of your trail bucket list.
First up we head for the Austrian Tirol where we sample two resorts with two very different trail styles: Sölden, with its berm and jump-littered bike park and Lermoos, with its old-school natural trails. Both guarantee big grins.
Ever dreamed of a Scandinavian trail adventure? We do, often, and make the dream a reality by visiting the Norwegian resort of Hafjell where we follow local legends around the World Cup downhill course and its endless supply of surrounding natural trails.
Back in the Alps, Morzine may be a familiar trail-hunting ground, but we go beyond the braking bumps and sculpted trails of the Portes du Soleil to explore the off-piste potential of this spectacular region in the hunt for adventure. We find it — and much more.
Our testing focus in this issue has been halfway house hardtails and trail forks, with MBUK head tester Guy Kesteven pitting four £750-800 hardtails from Norco, Calibre, Marin and Canyon head-to-head.
While the MBUK Wrecking Crew has gathered together the latest and greatest 140–170mm forks available to help you pick the right front-end upgrade for you, your bike and your wallet.
Tested elsewhere in the issue you’ll find six of the best bib liners with storage, Praxis’ latest crankset, a Camelbak back-protecting hydration pack, clothing from Castelli, Gore, dhb, and Fox, saddles from Deity and Gusset, tools from DMR and Leatherman, plus helmets, storage and more.
Also, don’t miss the latest updates from the team on MBUK's long-term rides, such as Ric’s Mondraker Dune, Ed’s Canyon Sender CF 8.0, JCW’s Scott genius 940, Rob’s Whyte G-170 and Ben C’s Nukeproof Mega 275 Pro.
On the tips and advice front this month we bring you how tos on spring cleaning your bike now the worst of winter is behind us, advice on on-the-bike posture from Pro Ride MTB coach Olly Morris, tips on how to back flip into a foam pit with ex-DH champ Manon Carpenter, plus a guide to how to look after waterproofs and fit rear shock volume spacers in Grime Time.
And we've got two free gifts for you this month. Our Charged e-bike supplement tells you everything you need to know about the fastest growing craze in mountain biking and we've got a full-page of stickers for you to pimp out your ride too!